Well­ness Arti­cles

Cho­les­terol Drugs Have Prob­lems

In a series of recent sep­a­rate sto­ries two pop­u­lar cho­les­terol drugs have had sig­nif­i­cant prob­lems that have caused one of them to be removed from the mar­ket and the other to draw news story warn­ings. From the August 8, 2002 issue of USA Today comes a story that starts off by stat­ing that drugs that lower cho­les­terol may cause nerve dam­age. In a new study, Dan­ish researchers say these drugs, called Statins, raise a person’s risk of nerve dam­age by nearly 15%, or roughly one case for every 2,200 patients age 50 or older.

Lead author David Gaist of the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Den­mark con­ducted the first large-​scale study to link the drugs with nerve dam­age, which is marked by weak­ness, tin­gling, dif­fi­culty walk­ing and pain. The study shows that the longer patients took the drugs, the more likely they were to suf­fer nerve damage.

Cur­rently it is esti­mated that about 16 mil­lion Amer­i­cans take statins such as Lip­i­tor and Prava­chol. The Dan­ish study drew only lim­ited cov­er­age in the United States. How­ever, one researcher from the US agrees with the alarm. “We should def­i­nitely sit up and take notice,” says Beat­rice Golomb, an assis­tant pro­fes­sor of med­i­cine at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, San Diego, who heads a fed­er­ally funded study of the effects of statin drugs on think­ing abil­ity, mood and qual­ity of life.

This new infor­ma­tion comes almost exactly one year after Bayer pulled their statin drug off the mar­ket. A year ago, the statin drug known as Bay­col was recalled after health offi­cials linked the drug to more than 100 deaths world­wide from a rare mus­cle con­di­tion. No deaths have been reported from the newly dis­cov­ered nerve dam­age in this study.

Ran­dom Article

Accord­ing to a report, “Health, United States 2004,” from the cen­tres for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, more Amer­i­cans are tak­ing pre­scrip­tion drugs than ever. Just

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